The Race To The WSL
Posted On March 5, 2021
The Women’s Championship is in full swing, so it is a good time to assess who is making a claim for promotion to the Women’s Super League. There seems to be three main contenders for the one and only promotion place in the shape of Leicester City, Durham, and Liverpool.
Leicester lead the Women’s Championship with 29 points from their 12 games this season. They have been the most impressive side so far, scoring 34 goals, the most of any team in the league. They have only lost one league game as well this season, which was a 4-1 defeat away to London City Lionesses.
Leicester are unbeaten at home this season with five wins from their six home games so far.
Natasha Flint has been leading the side from the front, with 11 goals so far this season, making her the top scorer in the league. The goals have come from other sources as well with Remi Allen, Paige Bailey-Gayle and Lachante Paul all scoring 5 goals each in the league.
Leicester are an exciting team to watch, though their defence does not seem to be as secure as their rivals, conceding 14 goals so far, with every other team in the top 7 having conceded fewer.
Though if they carry on their form in front of goal, then the defence will not prove to be too much of an issue.
The only unbeaten side in the league are Durham who have won seven of their twelve games this season, with five draws. Durham sits in second place, 3 points behind Leicester.
Durham may not have as many goals as Leicester, but they have been defensively solid, conceding 9 goals so far this season, with only Liverpool conceding fewer. They have managed to keep six clean sheets so far as well, showing they are defensively resolute. Impressively, they have only conceded 1 goal at home in the league.
The main reason Durham are in second place is they have the most draws in the league, and to challenge for promotion they will want to turn more of those draws into victories.
Durham’s goals has mainly come from two individuals. Beth Hepple is the side’s top scorer with 8 goals, with Emily Roberts scoring 5 goals herself. Those two players have scored 13 of their team’s 20 goals this season.
Durham may have to sacrifice some defensive security to try and turn some of those draws into wins to challenge for the promotion spot.
Liverpool are in third place having played 11 games with the return of 21 points, which leaves them 8 points off Leicester with a game in hand.
Liverpool are looking for a return to the WSL after being relegated last season on Points Per Game.
Vicky Jepson left her role as Liverpool manager at the start of the week by mutual consent.
Jepson’s assistant manager Amber Whiteley will take charge in an interim role until a replacement is found.
Liverpool have conceded the fewest in the league with only 8 goals conceded in the league this season. They have also had six clean sheets this season.
Their home form has been impressive with three wins in their four home games and they are unbeaten so far at home in the league. In their home games, they have managed to score 10 goals and have only conceded once.
The slight cause for concern is their away form, which is not as solid as their form at home. They have won three of their seven away games, with two draws and two losses. The promising aspect for Liverpool is they have played seven of their twelve games away, therefore they will have a lot of home matches to look forward to.
Liverpool have not necessarily relied on one player for goals. Rinsola Babajide is Liverpool’s top scorer with 5 goals. Rachel Furness has contributed with 4 goals to her name, Amalie Thestrup has managed to score 3 and Melissa Lawley has scored 2 goals so far this season.
If Liverpool can carry on their home form in what remains of the season and improve on their away performances, they will challenge for promotion.
Rest of the Campaign
The remainder of the season promises to be an exciting one with what looks like three teams challenging for one spot to earn promotion to the topflight.